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Author Topic: Norse & Celtic Crossover?  (Read 12348 times)
Thor
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« Topic Start: May 12, 2011, 01:12:01 am »

There seems to be some group out there that are mixing Norse and Celtic together, and I find this alittle odd since they are two different tradition.  Is there any historical basis for this, or is this a modern invention? 
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« Reply #1: May 12, 2011, 03:49:26 am »

There seems to be some group out there that are mixing Norse and Celtic together, and I find this alittle odd since they are two different tradition.  Is there any historical basis for this, or is this a modern invention? 

My history is, I admit, terrible... But didn't they grow and live nearly side-by-side on the continent very early on in the AD years?
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« Reply #2: May 12, 2011, 07:52:35 am »

There seems to be some group out there that are mixing Norse and Celtic together, and I find this alittle odd since they are two different tradition.  Is there any historical basis for this, or is this a modern invention? 

The Vikings did invade Celtic lands and even settled some in the British Isles. Given that, normal cultural mixing would mean there probably were people who followed deities from both pantheons. I don't know enough about history of the areas to say more.
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« Reply #3: May 12, 2011, 09:55:56 am »

There seems to be some group out there that are mixing Norse and Celtic together, and I find this alittle odd since they are two different tradition.  Is there any historical basis for this, or is this a modern invention? 


Are you talking about Orkneyjar? (Not precisely Celtic, but there seems to be a connection due to proximity and blending.)

I honor both, but don't mix them together. I'm not part of any group that is doing so, unless you count ADF's focus on all IE cultures (and they recommend not blending cultures in ritual.)

I went through a lot of soul-searching, and asking questions, because I felt drawn to both the Norse and the Celtic (Continental and Insular). I did some reading on it, and asked questions, and decided it was something I could do.

The Celtic and Germanic peoples did come into contact with one another. Yes, they fought. But the Celts fought other Celts as well. They weren't monolithic; they were individual tribes that fell under that umbrella. While choosing to honor both pantheons/cultures may be a more modern concept, the fact is I live in the modern world. I have as much Germanic ancestry as I do Celtic, and one thing that was common to all of them was honoring their ancestors, and for me part of that means honoring the gods of both. I asked several questions here about, and I could link you to the responses I got if you are interested.

For the moment, I'm focusing on the Irish, and developing that path, learning more about that history and culture; however, I will continue to honor the Aesir. I don't know the shape my path will take in the future, if I will be a Celtic Pagan who honors the Norse, or if I'll have a fully syncretic path, or something else. Honestly, if there is a group who is following both, I'd be interested in finding out more.
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« Reply #4: May 12, 2011, 06:43:34 pm »

There seems to be some group out there that are mixing Norse and Celtic together, and I find this alittle odd since they are two different tradition.  Is there any historical basis for this, or is this a modern invention? 

Well, when you consider that the inhabitants of Iceland are genetically more Irish than anything else at this point, yeah there was plenty of mixing. Enough so that certain places in Ireland were in fact founded by Scandinavians. Little towns like Dublin come to mind Smiley. Also, the Orkneys are heavily mixed between Scot and Scandinavian origins. Heck, there's a long history of close association between Scotland, Ireland, and Norway. One of Scotland's kings was named Olaf. Not exactly a very Celtic name, that Smiley.

And of course there was some cultural cross-pollination with regards to deities. Thunar/Thor, for example.
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« Reply #5: May 13, 2011, 08:27:36 am »

There seems to be some group out there that are mixing Norse and Celtic together, and I find this alittle odd since they are two different tradition.  Is there any historical basis for this, or is this a modern invention? 
Although the Norse had a tremendous influence in the isles such as Ireland, such as establishing many modern ports&towns still evident in the placenames, giving many loan words to the language(since Thor was mentioned, the Irish for thunder, toirneach, comes from Thor), the redhead gene  Cheesy(not Irish)Ireland was predominantly a Christian island by the time the early raids began. I believe there has been recent interest in historic syncretic traditions between the two cultures, but an unlikelihood between the two different pantheons. 
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« Reply #6: May 13, 2011, 10:00:40 am »

There seems to be some group out there that are mixing Norse and Celtic together, and I find this alittle odd since they are two different tradition.  Is there any historical basis for this, or is this a modern invention? 

If you want a very thorough exploration of the parallels and differences you can do no better than read “Myth & Symbols in Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian & Celtic Religions” by H. R. Ellis Davidson.

It’s superb and shows how the two cultures influenced one another. It also convinced me that my Celtic ancestors would have no problem being honoured in a Germanic way. Indeed, they’d probably not recognise any significant difference (a topic covered in the book).

Mark.
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« Reply #7: May 13, 2011, 11:06:52 am »

To the OP you can do what you want realy... in the end neopaganism is primarily personal study and subjective personal experiences. Even when youre criticized by people who give an academic basis for their ethnic flavoured neopaganism consider that plenty of deities may be indoeuropean archetypes and naturally will occur in many societies.  As a rule in ethnic neopaganism IMO anyone that tells you you cant do something is generally only showing their inexperience

Well, when you consider that the inhabitants of Iceland are genetically more Irish than anything else at this point, yeah there was plenty of mixing. Enough so that certain places in Ireland were in fact founded by Scandinavians. Little towns like Dublin come to mind Smiley.

Bob mate I woudbe really dubious about the suggestion that genetics or medieval settlements involved any blending of pagan beliefs.When Vikings came to dublin they were christianized, a viking king founded one of the earliest churchs in Dublin... And Icelandic peoples genetic background doesnt seem to have much of a bearing on the edda's. Where would you stop with that thinking... we could all be african pagans with our genetic background.

FYI Im from Dublin and the earliest settlment in the area was paleolithic and the Irish name for Dublin comes from an iron age settlment near a ford. When you hear that dublin was founded by vikings what that means is the TOWN was founded... Irish people didnt live in towns just sparse 'rath' farm settlements. They werent vikings for long either, they were ruled over by the king of Leinster and became the norse gael.
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« Reply #8: May 13, 2011, 01:07:24 pm »

To the OP you can do what you want realy... in the end neopaganism is primarily personal study and subjective personal experiences.




Quote
Even when youre criticized by people who give an academic basis for their ethnic flavoured neopaganism consider that plenty of deities may be indoeuropean archetypes and naturally will occur in many societies.  As a rule in ethnic neopaganism IMO anyone that tells you you cant do something is generally only showing their inexperience


Quote
Bob mate I woudbe really dubious about the suggestion that genetics or medieval settlements involved any blending of pagan beliefs.When Vikings came to dublin they were christianized, a viking king founded one of the earliest churchs in Dublin... And Icelandic peoples genetic background doesnt seem to have much of a bearing on the edda's. Where would you stop with that thinking... we could all be african pagans with our genetic background.

Quote
Even when youre criticized by people who give an academic basis for their ethnic flavoured neopaganism consider that plenty of deities may be indoeuropean archetypes and naturally will occur in many societies.  As a rule in ethnic neopaganism IMO anyone that tells you you cant do something is generally only showing their inexperience


Wait... I thought Bob could believe that if he wanted, even when people try to give some academic basis for why it's wrong. In  fact, most of your post seems to be a contradiction of itself.

Can we stop the recon/academic bashing for bashings sake? It's starting  to not make any sense.
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« Reply #9: May 13, 2011, 06:26:55 pm »




Wait... I thought Bob could believe that if he wanted, even when people try to give some academic basis for why it's wrong. In  fact, most of your post seems to be a contradiction of itself.

Can we stop the recon/academic bashing for bashings sake? It's starting  to not make any sense.

Ah you got me there Juniperberry.  Im not just a neopagan and when neopaganism wades in on things I care about more then neopaganism its an isssue for me. I wasnt recon bashing Im sorry if I gave you that impression. I was discussing the history of the Irish culture and more importantly for me the history of my part of my country. To me recon and Irish history are not synonamous... if anyone tried to imply that... now that would be a real issue for me.
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« Reply #10: May 13, 2011, 06:32:58 pm »




To clarify, imo you dont need to justify anything in religious terms because it is all personal study and subjective perrsonal experience... one of the down sides of attempting to justify things to other neopagans especially where ethnic neopaganism is concerned is if someone from that ethnicity sees you doing it... well you better hope they dont speak the same language as you if you dont want to get pulled up on it. Ethnic neopaganism very rarely has anything to do with genuine cutures or ethnicities.
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« Reply #11: May 13, 2011, 08:42:33 pm »

I was discussing the history of the Irish culture and more importantly for me the history of my part of my country.

Gotcha.  Grin
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« Reply #12: May 13, 2011, 09:01:39 pm »

Ethnic neopaganism very rarely has anything to do with genuine cutures or ethnicities.
Hmm... perhaps a discussion for a separate thread? What actually is "ethnic neopaganism"?

Just a thought.
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« Reply #13: May 14, 2011, 07:13:18 am »

Bob mate I woudbe really dubious about the suggestion that genetics or medieval settlements involved any blending of pagan beliefs.When Vikings came to dublin they were christianized, a viking king founded one of the earliest churchs in Dublin... And Icelandic peoples genetic background doesnt seem to have much of a bearing on the edda's. Where would you stop with that thinking... we could all be african pagans with our genetic background.

FYI Im from Dublin and the earliest settlment in the area was paleolithic and the Irish name for Dublin comes from an iron age settlment near a ford. When you hear that dublin was founded by vikings what that means is the TOWN was founded... Irish people didnt live in towns just sparse 'rath' farm settlements. They werent vikings for long either, they were ruled over by the king of Leinster and became the norse gael.

You miss my point, sir. What I meant was there was obviously a lot of physical mixing. In the case of the heavy Irish genetics in Iceland today it likely comes from the Irish thralls brought to the island. When two groups (using the term loosely here) mix, even if it is in conflict, there is still an exchange of ideas. I find it very, very hard to believe that the northerners ONLY made it to the British isles after the first raid on Lindisfarne. Were that true, then the Norse would not have been able to speak with the English at the time (with some difficulty, being heavily dialected and heading towards separate languages altogether).

My point being, while I certain don't think that there was a huge impact either direction (certainly not a complete synchronisation of beliefs) There was certainly some cultural exchange. I do not find it beyond the realm of reason for beliefs and ideas to have moved in both directions.

And I did not mean to imply that there were no Irish in the area around Dublin, and I apologise if that was how it came off. I meant the town itself, just as you said.

So, to repeat a previous statement, I do not think the Celtic gods and the Norse gods would view each other as completely foreign. They're neighbors, and fairly close ones at that. Close enough that no, I honestly don't really have that much of an issue with someone who would like to do honor to both families.
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« Reply #14: May 14, 2011, 06:28:30 pm »

There seems to be some group out there that are mixing Norse and Celtic together, and I find this alittle odd since they are two different tradition.  Is there any historical basis for this, or is this a modern invention? 

There was also a lot of exchange back and forth (physical and cultural, I would venture to say) on the continent as well, not just in the British isles. Consider the fascinating mess of Gallo(Celt)-German-Roman stuff around the borderzones, for instance.

While I may be biased (since I am interested in incorporating aspects of both Celtic and Germanic heathenry into my life), I do not see the two conflicting overmuch and they do have a lot in common, at least superficially. HRED's Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe points out many of the similarities between the two.
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